5e3 Kit Builders. Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Gotone, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. Gotone

    Gotone Gretschie

    216
    Jan 2, 2012
    Ontario
    I'm seriously considering getting a 5E3 kit. For three reasons. 1) I'd like to acquire the experience so hopefully I'll get to know what makes an amp tick. 2) I LOVE the sound produced by a 5E3 circuit. 3) With a cold, long winter looming, it would give me something to do, other than being bored stiff, and I can just imagine how my Gretsches would sound like plugged in.

    I'm seriously considering the kit offered by Trinity Amps, having read some great things about them and they are for all intents and purposes, local to me.

    I haven't really touched a soldering iron since there were Heathkit stores.

    So my question to those who have built a 5E3 kit, irrespective of who supplied it, is what kind of advice, tips, tricks, traps can you offer to a novice like me?

    Cheers,
    Bob

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  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Look up Rob Robinette's website. Lots of very stuff there. It goes from how a stock circuit works to how to hot rod the pants off a 5e3. The stock circuit is a great starting point, but it's not without issues, eg a bass end that is way too untamed. I'd start with the basic circuit and work your way up. Mine has altered transformers and caps, so I can run 6L6s, but tbh 6V6s add a sweetness that works well with Filtertrons. These being heavy in the midst, they can be a bit thick on a stock circuit, hence the coupling cap mods.

    Don't be tempted to spend fortunes on top quality transformers; Fender never did! Whatever you spend will have a street value of about half when you're done, so Hammond's are fine.
     
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  3. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    Hey it's Bob! nice to see you back. I have no amp building tips to offer, but beware that humbuckers can be quite 'dark' through a 5E3 (tweed deluxe, correct?)

    I still have the White Falcon LDS. I've been tweaking it bit by bit, and it's playing great :)
     
    Mudshark likes this.
  4. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Dec 19, 2011
    Nope
    I built a Trinity 5E3. They are a little more expensive than some other options but the instructions, layout and customer service are top notch especially for a beginner. Or "solder by numbers" guy such as myself. I had a couple issues that Steve from Trinity was quick to help me with and got it all sorted.

    You can see my amp build thread here...

    http://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/trinity-amps-5e3-build.121955/

    Now that I have some experience I'd probably get a Boothill kit. Great price but the directions are a little tougher and I would want a better understanding before attempting one of their kits. I will eventually try one of their 5F1 kits and build the cab myself.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
    Mudshark likes this.
  5. Mudshark

    Mudshark Synchromatic

    597
    Jul 20, 2012
    Canada
    I can recommend the Trinity Deluxe Tweed kit as it was my first kit and can attest the terrific support of the team there should you have questions (and you will) or problems arise. I had very limited practical electronics skills especially when it came to soldering before I took this on.

    One tip I prior to the build is to have the right tools and a dedicated space.

    I had bought a cheap Chinese soldering iron from Ebay before I started and ended up with many cold solder joints that were difficult to remedy. I have a Herco brand digital iron that is reliable now.

    I upgraded my voltmeter/multimeter from to some Canadian Tire Mastercraft trash to a Klien Tool.

    Check your speaker clearance. I wish I would have made more measurements fitting the speaker in the cab. I used a Tone Tubby with a large magnet and the housing barely clears the preamp tubes. The cabinet is standard tweed dimension but I had to redesign the baffle twice before the speaker cleared the tubes.

    Also: Register in the Trinity forum; I got invaluable help from Stephen Corr (Trinity's owner) and other tube build veterans. Here are a couple of my build threads.

    https://trinityamps.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3410&hilit=Muddy&start=0

    https://trinityamps.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3467&p=30596&hilit=Muddy#p30596

    Lastly: Take your time with it. For me it was a steep learning curve and I would try to understand how all the circuits and components work together as I worked on it. The documentation is excellent but I also referred to this book, "The Guitar Amp Handbook" .

    It probably took me 3 weeks on my first build although now I could likely put it together in a couple of days. I really learnt a lot and improved my soldering skills to boot.

    Peace and harmonics,
    muddy
     
    Tinman46 likes this.
  6. Gotone

    Gotone Gretschie

    216
    Jan 2, 2012
    Ontario
    Thanks DaddyDog. Yep, it's the Tweed Deluxe from Trinity I'm interested in. I remember how the TV Jones Classics on a Setzer sounded (thru an EC Tremolux actually). That sound has haunted me since. Hence the interest in the Trinity kit. I can also imagine how good the Eddie Cochran would sound.

    Lol. If there's one Gretsch I sold, and there have many, the #1 spot on my regrets list is that White Falcon. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I did. To offset that tragic loss however, I recently acquired an older D35, that seems to be getting a lot of my attention lately.

    Cheers,
    Bob






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  7. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Trust me, the EC will sound fabulous. An EC is less middy than something with Filtertrons, so you won't have to worry too much about excessive bottom end.
     
  8. Gotone

    Gotone Gretschie

    216
    Jan 2, 2012
    Ontario
    Thanks Tinman and Muddy. This is exactly the kind of information that I'm looking for. Very appreciated. Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Bob



    Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
     
  9. fender62custom

    fender62custom Gretschified

    Age:
    56
    Mar 3, 2012
    Helidon, Australia
    All the best with it Bob!! l sense a Build thread coming on very soon!! we all love build threads!! hint hint!! :)
     
  10. Gotone

    Gotone Gretschie

    216
    Jan 2, 2012
    Ontario
    Thanks for saying that Uncle D. I know there's not too many EC's out there (sadly), and probably fewer who play that guitar thru a 5E3. So I value your comment as I know you're speaking from experience.

    Cheers,
    Bob

    Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
     
  11. Gotone

    Gotone Gretschie

    216
    Jan 2, 2012
    Ontario
    Lol. I certainly will. When one is bursting with pride, one just has to do things like that.

    Cheers,
    Bob

    Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
     
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  12. drrohle

    drrohle Synchromatic

    833
    Jan 3, 2014
    Hays, KS
    I scratch built my vibro champ clone last winter because, like you, I needed a winter project. A boy was it ever fun. Not familiar with the kit you are talking about but it looks like others on this forum certainly are.

    If you have the choice on how you assemble your kit, I would start with the power supply section first. Test it's voltage & filament supplies then proceed to wire up the output circuit. In my case it was a single 6V6. Once that checked out I proceeded to the pre-amp circuit, then the vibrato oscillator stage. Everything went fantastic and it worked the first time I truly turned it on with no circuit mistakes or modifications! And, best of all my Gretsch sounded GREAT through it!!! And don't be fooled by the 6V6's 5 watt output. It is plenty loud! In my music room I never have to turn it up beyond 8.

    http://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/scratch-build-a-vintage-fender-vibro-champ.136856/

    Here is a link to my build if you are interested, and if you want a really good electronics instructor, subscribe to "Uncle Doug" on YouTube. He's the one who really inspired me to scratch build my own. He even has a 9 part series on doing it yourself.

    Enjoy it man! Nothing better than playing a Gretsch through your own home built amp!
     
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  13. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    65
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I'm a proud owner of a Trinity 5E3, it's a very good amplifier. I didn't build it, I bought it, but it is still a really good amp.
     
  14. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Modulus supply a kit with a turret board, as opposed to an eyelet board. My view is the turret board makes mods a bit easier.
     
  15. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    62
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    You should really talk / PM forum member " @Racing " . I believe he's the amp pro from Sweden
     
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